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Ruth’s article in the November Diary October 25, 2021

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.

The flowers decorating Barley church tower have been taken down just as the beautiful leaves of Autumn are also falling from the trees. There is no doubt that the more sombre month of November is here. As the poet Thomas Hood wrote:

No sun — no moon!
No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day.

This is the month where we remember those who have died in war, and those we have loved. A month where the good things in life might be a warm home, candlelight, casseroles and crumpets.

But many are worried with the onset of this winter with its rising fuel prices, its possible shortages and the end of furlough and the Universal Credit uplift. A warm home, and comforting food may be hard to come by. There are two ways in which we can help- to place warming food in our parish pantries- the Trussell Trust has warned that the bigger foodbanks may have difficulties with supplies this winter and local foodbanks will be all the more needed. Then the Barley sleep out is taking place again this year at the very beginning of December- raising money for the Church Urban Fund which works with other faith based partnerships around the UK supporting communities in tackling social inequality. Could you join the sleepers, or sponsor them, raise money and awareness?

If you are worried about your own food crises or heating bills do talk to the clergy, to the surgery or to CAB. Don’t suffer alone- there are agencies to help.

If the impending winter is filling you with gloom and anxiety please talk to someone- invite a neighbour for a cup of tea, ring one of the listening agencies. The spiral of darkness can pull us down so easily but in the darkness there is always a spark of light – like the smallest candle.

The traditional prayer for the evening is this:

“Lighten our darkness, Lord, we pray, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

We can pray it at any time when we feel the darkness closing in on us.


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